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09/26/08 10:03 PM ET
Bedard has surgery on left shoulder
Rotator cuff damage is ruled out during operation
By Jim Street / MLB.com
SEATTLE -- Mariners southpaw Erik Bedard had arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder on Friday morning and the procedure revealed that there are no tears in his labrum. "The surgery report is very good news," Mariners general manager Lee Pelekoudas said. "There are no structural issues with the shoulder, which should allow for a positive timetable on Erik's full recovery." Recovery time from this type of procedure is approximately six months. A better timetable will be available once rehabilitation begins. A cyst was removed from Bedard's shoulder, along with a "minor labral debridement" performed by Dr. Lewis Yocum, who examined Bedard when the Mariners played a series against the Angels in Anaheim more than a week ago. A couple of days later, when the team was in Kansas City, Bedard told reporters that an MRI exam taken in July showed that there was a small tear in the labrum. The organization was worried that labrum surgery would sideline Bedard for most -- if not all -- of the 2009 season. Potential damage to Bedard's rotator cuff also was ruled out on Friday. Bedard, acquired from the Orioles in February for five players, hasn't pitched since July 4, when he first told the team that his shoulder was bothering him. He told a reporter last week that he experienced shoulder pain during his second start of the season, against the Rays in St. Petersburg. He eventually made 15 starts before being placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to July 5, with a "tight" left shoulder. He never made another appearance, playing catch several times, but never advancing enough for a routine bullpen session. Bedard underwent an MRI exam July 22, and was examined by the Mariners medical director, Edward Khalfayan. The club announced then that there was nothing structurally wrong with the shoulder, although the pitcher said there was a small tear. Why the confusion? "I guess, [an MRI], it is not an exact science," manager Jim Riggleman said. "It's like making bullpen changes; it's not an exact science. I'm sure Erik feels better knowing there is no structural damage in there. I'm sure it was weighing on his mind. "When pitchers feel any discomfort in their arms, it has to be very nerve-wracking. They're young, and if an elbow or shoulder goes, they may not pitch again." That apparently won't be the case with Bedard, who made $7 million this season and is eligible for salary arbitration again this offseason. He ended up with a 6-4 record and 3.67 ERA in 15 starts for the Mariners this season.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.